Easter Bash in the… Spring! (11th April, 2022) by Phil Barr
Following a productive winter season, the band were rewarded with the queen/ king of all buffets at the Spring Cafe, laid on by the team of wonderful volunteers there.
The table decorations alone were worth a visit and the choice and quality of the food would put many Michelin restaurants to shame. However, before the treat began there were much deserved thanks, flowers and other gifts to the members of the group who give of their time to make our various uke sessions so enjoyable: David, Dave, Linda, Richard and of course Liz for organising events like this one. Sue also deserves thanks for organising and then presenting the gifts and also treasurer Margaret W. The one sombre and very sad note of the afternoon was to hear of the passing of Peter Harney who in his daughter’s words loved the covid ‘inspired’ zoom sessions and, all too briefly, the live sessions in Walton….
Now what to choose; shall it be goats cheese quiche, succulent ham, salmon steaks, salads galore, coronation chicken, buttery and herby salad potatoes – can’t decide? – no problem – try a bit of everything! Not only that but there was a similar mouth-watering choice of desserts including pavlova, chocolate fudge cake and Eton mess. ( I quickly learned that Roy was a lifelong fan of desserts, so it was no surprise that he had two large dishfuls with his own jug of double cream before his chair collapsed under the added weight.) For those who could still find room for more there were cheese and biscuits and then a very welcome tea or coffee. (Maria made a belated but eagerly awaited appearance at this stage after an arduous journey north and this on top of her marathon mercy mission. Needless to say she has been practising tenaciously whilst away.)
With tables cleared there was now more feasting -this time of the musical variety. The now well-known Squaw Patrol, brimming with confidence following their critically acclaimed performance at Christmas, treated the audience to a memorable double. (The introduction itself by the way, from self – appointed MC, Roy Bennett – calling to mind an amalgam of Des O’Connor and Bruce Forsyth – was worth the admission money in itself.) And so, to the first number: Da – Doo – Ron – Ron with a cunning name change aimed to embarrass the recipient -clue – his name was Phil not Bill. (Although I was filming this at the time my modest sized phone could only partially hide the vivid red blotches on my neck and face.) Thelma added to the period atmosphere with an authentic hand – jive whilst Linda added the boom – boom and Pippa, Lynne, Avril and Liz the vroom, vroom. After the raucous applause had died down the Squaws plus special guest / ex Christmas victim, Pop, burst in to life again with a song which I think had something to do with chickens – a large hint being that the band was dressed as chickens accompanied by clucking noises and an amazingly realistic sounding cockle doodle doo by Pop. Needless to say, this brought the house down ( rather than the threat of the sky falling down as in the chicken licken story). As if the audience was not satiated by now there followed a fine duet of Blues in my Shoes by The Two P’s (Pop and Pippa) and for the first time in public unbeknown to myself until 5 seconds before the start, the 3 P’s ( Peter, Pippa and Phil) performing Things Ain’t What they used to Be. With covid still raging along with the war in Ukraine this was maybe an appropriate title.. It was even more appropriate that David should provide the telling vocals to the last song, King of the Road along with Pippa and Pop, thereby rounding off a very enjoyable afternoon.
Apologies to anyone I’ve missed out or factual errors – I’ll blame sensory overload! Photos and videos will show the true picture.
Blues in my Shoes by the Two Ps Pippa and Pop
King of the Road by Pippa, Pop and David